Author Topic: C# Aurora Lore  (Read 17167 times)

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Offline Steve Walmsley (OP)

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C# Aurora Lore
« on: January 09, 2019, 11:10:30 AM »
This post explains some of the lore behind C# Aurora and its effect on various mechanics. I will update with additional topics over time.

Normal Space
Our own dimension and everything within it.

A dimension co-existing alongside normal space, which has fluidic properties and is much more compressed in terms of distance between objects.

Trans-Newtonian Elements (TNE)
Eleven known elements that exist primarily in the Aether (see above). With the right equipment, they can be detected from normal space, extracted and refined into materials that can be used for construction purposes. TNEs exist in trace amounts throughout the Aether and over billions of years they accumulate where gravity wells from normal space intrude into the Aether, causing swirling turbulence and ever-increasing compression. Larger amounts usually form in deeper gravity wells, although high gravity often makes TNEs more difficult to extract and refine. Another option is locating the smaller but more accessible deposits that form in the Aether at low gravity intrusion points, caused by small moons or asteroids.

TNE Extraction
‘Mining’ of TNE is carried out by specialised equipment, usually sited on the surface of the normal space object that causes them to accumulate in the Aether. This equipment ‘tunnels’ across the dimensional barrier into the Aether to extract the TNE. While this can be carried out by conventional installations built without TNE, it is much more efficient to use mining complexes constructed from refined TNE materials. More advanced technology allows extraction from mining equipment located above the surface of the normal space body, although this is normally limited to weak gravity wells and therefore relatively small bodies. Gas giants and super-jovians have such deep gravity wells that it is not possible to access the TNE accumulated in the Aether. However, Sorium, the lightest and most reactive of the TNEs, may sublimate from this central mass and be found in gaseous form at a more accessible depth. Special harvester modules are necessary to extract this gas and refine it into fuel. Theoretically, TNE must also accumulate within the gravity wells of stars, although they are impossible to detect in those circumstances, let alone access.

Travel in the Aether
A ship or missile constructed of Trans-Newtonian Elements exists in multiple dimensions simultaneously. A TN ship travels primarily in the Aether, with only a small intrusion into normal space to maintain a connection. Because of the compressed distance within the Aether, a ship moves much more quickly from the perspective of a viewpoint in normal space than would normally be expected given the available engine technologies. As the Aether is fluidic in nature the ship must be under constant power to maintain that speed. Unlike conventional spacecraft in normal space, ships in the Aether can use the compressed fluidic environment to change course quickly, like a ship in water. If a ship should suffer so much damage that it loses structural cohesion, the wreckage will be pushed out of the Aether, like an object floating to the surface of a fluid, and therefore will be detected easily in normal space.

While gravity wells help with the formation of TNE deposits, that same increased compression and turbulence is dangerous to TN ships. Small ships, up to perhaps 500 tons in mass, can navigate those currents. Any larger vessel is likely to be severely damaged or torn apart. Therefore, TN ships larger than 500 tons are built in orbital shipyards and use shuttles or other small craft to move cargo, ordnance or fuel from surface-to-orbit and vice versa.

Jump Points
Jump Points allow almost instantaneous travel from one star system to another. Theoretical models suggest that another, as-yet-undetected dimension is intruding into the Aether and causing jump points in different systems to create a link between them. While this link is more likely between systems in proximity in normal space, much longer jumps are possible. The Aether is extremely disturbed by the formation of these jump points, making travel through them impossible without specialised ‘jump drives’. The jump drive creates a temporary stable pathway through the Aether that allows one or more ships to transit.

Military ship engines are high powered and have a greater effect on the Aether in general, so a specialised military jump drive is required to ensure a stable pathway. Conversely, ships equipped with lower-stress commercial engines do not require the same tolerance levels in the jump drive, so large commercial jump drives are much less expensive than a comparable size military jump drive.

Either type of jump drive can focus its energy on a creating a very short-lived and stable passage for a ‘squadron transit’, which is limited to a specific number of ships, depending on the technology of the drive. The advantage of the squadron transit is the fast, stable mode causes relatively minor effects on ship systems that usually last less than a minute. A ‘standard transit’ holds the jump point open for an unlimited number of ships to pass at the expense of a rougher transit and consequently a much longer recovery period for electronic systems. This type of transit is not recommended if hostile ships are waiting at the far side.

It is possible to permanently stabilise a jump point, so that ships can use standard transits without the requirement of a jump drive. This requires the use of a large and expensive jump gate stabilisation module over a period of about six months. The module works by gradually calming the disturbance around the jump point. The fact this process is even possible has led scientists to theorise the Aether disturbance is due to the formation process of the jump point, rather than its continued existence.

Lagrange Points
Much shorter-range versions of the jump points form in the orbits of super-jovians and high mass gas giants and are known as Lagrange points. By entering from different angles, ships can jump from a Lagrange Point to any other Lagrange point in the same star system without any ill effects.

Only a few worlds in the universe are habitable. Some species use ground-based infrastructure or orbital habitats to provide living space. Another option is to terraform planets to be suitable for colonisation without any life support requirements. The existence of the Aether makes this process much faster than could be accomplished solely with the resources of normal space. While the Aether is home to the TNE, there are many other common elements within the fluidic environment. A terraforming module opens a small portal between normal space and the Aether and processes the incoming raw material into common atmospheric gases. By selecting the right gases, the environment of a selected planet can be transformed. Two common Aether-only elements, Aestusium and Frigusium, are ideal for this process as they are respectively inert greenhouse and anti-greenhouses gases. Conversely, gases from the atmosphere can be pumped through the portal for easy disposal.